“Why Assholes Fool Themselves”

1. You and your organisation are effective despite rather than because you are a demeaning jerk.  You make the mistake of attributing success to the virtues of your nasty ways, even though your demeaning actions actually undermine performance.

2. You mistake your successful power grab for organisational success,  The skills that get you a powerful job are different – often the opposite – from the skills needed to do the job well.

3. The news is bad, but people only tell you good news.  The ‘shoot the messenger’ problem means that people are afraid to give you bad news, because you will blame and humiliate them.  So you think things are going great, even though problems abound.

4. People put on an act when you are around.  Fear causes people to do the ‘right’ things when you are watching them.  As soon as you leave, they revert to less effective or downright destructive behaviour – which you don’t see.

5. People work to avoid your wrath rather than to do what is best for the organisation.  The only employees who can survive your management style devote all their energy to avoiding blame rather than fixing problems.

6. You are being charged ‘asshole taxes’ but don’t know it.  You are such a jerk that people are willing to work for you and your company only if you pay them premium rates.

7. Your enemies are silent (for now), but the list keeps growing.  Your demeaning actions mean that day after day, you turn more people against you, and you don’t realise it.  Your enemies don’t have the power to trash you right now, but are laying in wait to drive you out.

– from the book “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t” by Robert I. Sutton.